The ATMIS Force Commander Lieutenant General Sam Okiding has today confirmed that the second phase of 3,000 troops will be withdrawn from Somalia by the end of September.
Lt. Gen. Sam Okiding made the revelation while briefing the media on ATMIS military gains, support to Somali Security Forces and the ongoing offensive against terrorist groups.
“Preparations for the second phase of the withdrawal of 3,000 ATMIS troops by the end of September are underway,” Gen. Okiding revealed.
The Force Commander said ATMIS will continue working closely with the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS), United Nations Support Office in Somalia and other partners to ensure a smooth transfer of security responsibilities to Somali Security Forces.
He reiterated that ATMIS will also put in place measures to avoid a security vacuum when it exits Somalia by the end of December 2024.
The first phase of 2000 troops was successfully withdrawn at the end of June and six Forward Operating Bases (FOBs) handed over to the Somali Security Forces (SSF).
Around 14,000 troops will remain in Somalia as mandated by the UN Security Council Resolutions 2628 and 2670, which require the ATMIS to gradually hand over security responsibilities to Somali security forces ahead of the exit from Somalia on Dec. 31, 2024.
The United Nations Support Office in Somalia will ensure the equipment and other facilities handed over to the Somali security forces by exiting ATMIS troops are in good condition and the Somali forces are capacitated on how to use them.